Posted By: Maladrene pingpongball<firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: 20 June 2000, 1:40 am
Record Day 1 The Covenant are ruthless in a manner unprecedented by humanity's history of deranged psychopaths, intent on killing everyone and everything in their way. They attacked our in-field medical hospital, destroying it completely. Not only did we lose wounded men but damn near an eighth of our medical personnel. We were scheduled to conduct a raid on the bastard Cows yesterday, but alas, it rained. It would have been ideal for such an attack, but the size of the camp called for us to bring reinforcements, which got stuck in mud. Our light tank we had with us had a bad enough time. Tanks don't usually get stuck in mud, and we usually have maps of where we were, but we were just scouting as we went along. We waited until this morning when we could see well enough to dig it out (a seven ton vehicle does not enjoy getting stuck in waist high mud). The Cows and their hover-vehicles aren't affected by rain in this way. I had a little fun with the hover bike we captured a week ago from a scouting party. It handles better than anything I've driven before. -- Our reinforcements just got here, and they brought a surprise. One of our new tanks, the Birthday Box (Big Ass Tank) came with them because base needed more of the faster light tanks to conduct the desert raids on the other side of the ring. Besides, we were needing to test it's combat abilities in order to tweak the design. It also explains why they couldn't get here yesterday. Well, we're off, and our scout got back saying that there are about seventy or so Cov's down there with two tanks, and five hover bikes. This'll be one hell of a fight.
Record day 2
My leg hurts. My other leg hurts. My whole body hurts. My head hurts. I sleep now.
Record day 3
I would prefer never having to go through that again. Four days ago, we conducted the raid and last I remember was a very bright light and screaming. From what I can gather, the whole of our force was destroyed in a bombing by the Cov's. We won the battle, true, but it wasn't predictable. Normally that wouldn't have been a big deal for us to wipe em out with the firepower we had. That armory was quite an important target. We overtook the nearby communications building, not damaging it so we can continue transmitting data to the Cov's. It's in this way that they won't find out about our attack until at least 4 days, when they plan to stop by to reinforce this area to keep it safe. It sounds like a good idea. Anyway, the battle opened like a work of art. Everything was going fine, then orbital bombardment, boom. It was over. I condemn them for using so much force against so few troops, it was really unnecessary because we won anyway. I suppose to them it's just how many of us they kill in the process of getting their butts kicked. The survivors took us wounded back to the Construct for medical treatment. I'm lucky to be alive, really. My leg had been broken in five places-where it wasn't shattered that is. The flesh below my knee had been blown off. My other leg had a few pieces of shrapnel from the casing around the energy bomb. I'm only thankful for enhancement, otherwise I would never be able to walk again (and those regenerators are real nice too). Of the thirty of us who attacked, only six made it out unhurt. Our light tank which had come with us from the beginning had been destroyed, by a bomb too. The B.A.T. made it out (surprise surprise) with only a few paint scratches. Nothing a little Turtle Waxª couldn't cure. That thing is poetry in motion, very slow motion.
Record day 4
I talked with Katherine about our computer. It has been acting strange lately. It normally predicts how we will do in combat, and how the Cov's will fight. Katherine told me it could have had some damage to it in stasis when we crashed. Nobody can figure out what it's problem is. The computer is the most advanced device technology has given birth to. I found out it was self aware only a few hours ago when talking to my sergeant about it's recent behavior. He seems to think that it has gone rampant. This of course would be devastating to our war effort, but I think he's being paranoid. Besides, rampancy has signs where we could tell if it were going nuts. But there is always a chance. -- I've also learned that the computer was on the Pillar of Autumn, put there when the ship was on Earth. They worked on it for a long while, and then put it on the PoA for whatever reason. It is then suggested that it could have shown signs of rampancy in stasis, and we would have not of known of it. But this doesn't make any sense because it has been working flawlessly before now, and then it is just suddenly started acting up. I would have suspected human tampering, but we're all in this together. If one person sacrificed his race in order to live, he wouldn't be helping himself much. Even if the Cows promised him freedom after he messed up the computer, they would still probably kill him. Their religion is strict from what we know, and shows no signs of mercy. Besides, the one who killed us all, wouldn't have any way to get off the Halo. So he would be stuck here, with eighteen hundred corpses, an abandoned base, and one rampant AI. Not ideal living conditions.
Record day 5
We were out scouting as usual, minding out own business when we were attacked by a group of four hover-bikes. They destroyed our jeep, except the turret still worked. After confusion wore off, we smacked em all down with our brand-new rocket launchers. We had two of them, so the advantage was to us over their energy guns, which don't really pack that much of a wallop. They sort of heat things up before causing them to explode with the excess energy, given the laser, it can take two or three direct hits to disable a jeep. After that whole ordeal was over my captain informed me that something big was about to happen back at base. We're about to head out now so I might as well get a move on. He did mention it had something to do with the tactical change though. He has my interest.
Katherine almost throws me from my bed as she wakes me up. Her gentle nature has always been one of her good traits.
"Get up you lazy piece of crap! Time for breakfast!" She nearly screams.
"AAH!" I yelled out of surprise more than anything, my dream had-thankfully- been cut short by the intrusion.
"Oops, that's a my bad there, hey, where's your teddy bear?" She asked with a smirk.
"Right here." I say smiling while producing the bear from the tangle of sheets.
I shake off the effects of the dream. She grabs it and holds it in a very suggestive manner. I got the bear when I was an infant and is all I have left of my former home. She also knows I don't like anyone else to touch my things, but I let this slide and smile. I get the feeling she enjoys taunting me so. Not that it is without cause, I used to do the same to her, and it was quite disturbing to anyone else who saw it (there have been reports of nightmares).
"What's that?" She points to my journal. "I didn't know you had a diary!"
"It's not a diary! It's a journal." I say in self defense.
"And the difference is....what?" She demands. I stare at her, pretend to cry and she gives me a so-sorry-but-I'll-bring-this-up-later look. We both drop the subject (for now). Pursuing it would be a major waste of time, and we've both got better things to tease each other about.
We walk down the hall to the cafeteria after I got dressed and get our "food."
"What the hell is this?" Katherine asked with a puzzled look on her face.
"I think it's chicken." I say, poking the disfigured piece of 'meat' before me.
"You can't get chicken meat that color!" She pointed out. I studied the food for a minute, trying to figure out what was on today's menu. Chicken, corn, and rice. Seems funny that for hundreds of years, we still eat the same stuff.
I take a bite out of my chicken, chew, fake a gag and put my hands to my throat to seem like I had been poisoned. Katherine looked at me, and back at her food.
"You're not helping." she said dryly.
We finished our breakfast and headed to the control rooms. The computer had been on the fritz lately. It had been giving false data statistics and predictions. Whenever we try to access anything it refuses to let us in, which is a dead giveaway that something has gone awry. My new squad is called to report to the briefing room.
"Probably just another BS assignment." I say to myself. I can't stand scouting missions, although it is a bit relaxing to cruise around in the jeep for hours.
I meet my point man, Jimmy (all my friend's names are remarkably plain and traditional) and we head to the briefing room. Once seated, General Stykes tells us of a new small-scale operation they suspect the Cows are up to. Details are sketchy at the moment, but that's why we're going, to gather info. Only two of us are going, me and Jim, while the others are to report to the defensive areas so they can advise and supervise.
"Damnit! I knew we'd get some stupid assignment like this!" I almost yell as we left the room. I hear General Stykes laugh behind me and I become paranoid. Normally he throws something at you when you complain like that, a shoe, various items of food and what not. I watch myself until we are in the garage.
"Looks like you're pretty excited about this one." Jimmy says.
"Shut up." I tell him, "I'm just tired of this. We've been out three days already! My butt hurts from riding so much." Actually it was something else hurting my butt, but Jim didn't know of Katherine and I.
"Yeah, I know. I was there, remember?" He says as he rubs his posterior for effect.
"Oh yeah." I say, looking at my pack. I put in some extra sandwiches. I like sandwiches.
We stop for a minute to figure out where we are. Our progress has slowed due to the computer's most recent screw up, but we are hanging on to what we do have. Our territory is about a sixth of the Halo, with a few sub-bases and outposts scattered about, many in places near where the Cov's bases had been (this surprised me when they didn't come back to even look at the wreckage of the bases. They just find another base). I have dozed off three times now and all I can do is shake myself awake when we hit a bump. There is a tree about fifty feet tall that catches my attention. I thought I saw metal flash. The "bark" of the tree looks very smooth and the sun is starting to set. Although it is strange, it could be a natural occurrence. Jason said something about weird things that happen when you stare at a certain waterfall on the way to the medvac site from the outpost Jereen. I haven't noticed the surroundings much since I've been here.
"Hey, did you see that?" Jimmy says. I look in the direction he is, which is at the tree.
"Um. No, what was it?" I ask. I stare at the tree, sensors at full power, looking at one place searching for any signs of movement. There is no answer. I got a bad feeling from it. We eventually get moving again, driving at what has been dubbed, planet side West.
To solve the navigation problem, we have set the planet side of the Halo as North, and left and right are West and East respectively. It was a fairly simple solution and it took us only a few minutes to think of it, although it's not exact, just directional.
We reach our destination, debark from out jeep, and scout the area. The hills are extremely lush with the native equivalent of grass. With a few trees strewn about the landscape. It is quite a beautiful place here, and if it weren't for what we're up against I'd probably enjoy this.
The reason I hate scouting missions is that we are almost always undermanned, and almost always attacked. The Cows have an uncanny sense of where we are, which makes for a hard time for our snipers, as they can only get one or two shots off before being spotted (alone that is, when we attack en masse all they can do is careen around like children while our boys pick em off). I see another tree, with a glimmer of metallic substance on it again. It takes my a moment to realize that it looks strikingly similar to the tree we passed a few hours ago. I bring a picture up on my HUD to compare. I usually take pictures of things so I can report them, and is useful in making maps. True, we have satellites to do this, but I like the scenery here.
I am already drawing my assault rifle when I call for Jimmy. There is no answer. I look around and turn in a complete circle. Nothing is here! Not even the jeep! I begin to panic as what is happening is registering in my brain. I don't --can't-- go anywhere, and my best friend is gone. My heart rate soars and my adrenaline level gets out of control. Sweat beads up on my palms and my forehead. The tree with the metallic substance on it is also gone, and I put twelve and six together. Five minutes since this all happened, and I am still in a panic. I am so uncertain as to what to do. My mind shows me images from the hospitals, of Marines getting captured and then rescued, with their legs torn off or missing random organs. I also visualize necessary items, that I don't have. I left everything in the jeep. I realize that I left my pack in the jeep also.
I fall to my knees and scream "MY SANDWICHES!" The sound echoes back to me a few times. Now I am hysterical. The world spins and contorts to unnatural shapes and colors. I fall down and slip into unconscientiousness.
Katherine throws me from my bed as she wakes me up.
"Get up you lazy piece of crap! Time for breakfast!" She nearly screams.